More and more businesses are branching out into social media these days, as it has a proven track record. But this does mean social platforms are becoming more competitive. And that’s not including the 3.2 billion users.
The most frustrating part about social media, and with a lot of digital marketing content strategies, is that exciting, informative content does not guarantee engagement. You could spend hours creating this content, and have very little to show for it. That’s not to say you should stop doing this (or that any social strategy won’t take time) but you may need to consider experimenting with a few other techniques too.
We’ve explored four great ways to boost your social media engagement below – if you include each of these recommendations in your social strategy, you’re bound to see your engagement numbers climb!
1. Start With Research
Want to know how to engage with your target audience on social media? The simplest way is to see what your competitors are doing. Visit their social channels and look at the types of content they’re posting, and what is popular with their followers. Consider the aesthetic, the wording, as well as the number of comments and likes. While you don’t want to stray from your brand, it can often be helpful to look to others for inspiration.
Another trick is to look at the comments section. If there are common questions there that haven’t been addressed, that may be a great opportunity to cover these topics yourself and engage with your target audience.
Obviously you don’t want to copy your competitors’ strategies completely, as you won’t be offering anything new. You need to have an edge to stand out – by looking at others in your industry, you may be able to find a niche that has not yet been explored.
2. Post Regularly
One of the golden rules of social media marketing is to post regularly. While you don’t want to bombard your audience with content, you should be posting at least a few times a week. According to research from Hubspot, most marketers post between one and six times per week. As long as you’re uploading quality content, it’s rare to post too often.
Do bear in mind though, that once you publish more than five times in a week on Facebook and LinkedIn, the return on investment drops off significantly. So if you have a lot of content you’re looking to share, Twitter is your best bet.
3. Speak With Your Audience
Another essential thing to remember with social media is that you need to speak with your audience! Just posting a stream of content isn’t enough – people use social media to engage with other people (the clue is in the name). And your audience doesn’t want to speak with a faceless brand either – you need to make sure you come across as human! If you’re not comfortable using your own name, you can use a pseudonym instead, as long as users know they are speaking with an individual, not the business as a whole.
If you’re a smaller business just starting out, you will need to reach out to people too, not just rely on people coming to you. Find similar businesses and reach out to people following their pages, leaving comments on their posts, and following them first. While not everyone will follow you back, this is a good strategy to gain followers over time.
You may not be able to spend as much time as you’d like interacting with your audience on social media, but responding to any messages and comments, as well as commenting on other people’s posts, can make a big difference to your engagement levels. People are more likely to trust your brand if they feel like they can speak with you directly, about topics big and small.
4. Listen to Your Audience!
It’s all very well and good reaching out to your audience and speaking with them, but you also need to listen to what they’re saying! It’s a common mistake to do all the talking and neglect any concerns or questions your customers may have. It may not be pleasant to get negative feedback, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Address each point, and try to bring the person back around. Though you can’t please everyone!
It’s not just about bad experiences either. With social media, you have a direct line into understanding the lives of your customers. You can discover their interests and dislikes, and do your best to find out the reasons these people may purchase your product. For instance, if you’re selling vegan skin care products, you could find that people are reluctant to buy such items due to their expense compared to similar skin care items. You could then consider launching a basics range, or running a promotion.
And don’t forget that you can discuss things outside of your specific products and services on social media! Sometimes it’s good to post things just for fun, and speak to people about silly things. Showing personality is great for your brand, and you’re bound to have fun doing it too!